They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

One Hour

Driving home on Monday, listening to NPR's All Things Considered from 4:30 to 5:30, I was struck by the following chain of stories:

-- The Bill Cosby Serial Rapist story.

-- The billion dollar art collection involving art stolen by Nazis.

-- The UVA Serial Gang Rape Greek Suspension lifestyle story. ***

-- Worry about the pending Ferguson MO grand jury decision.

-- The epidemic of credit card security breaches at big stores... And small.

-- Net neutrality.

-- Rejection of Yet Another report saying Benghazi -- there's no story there.

-- Wailing about the President's use of Executive Orders to deal with something that the very complainers have refused to do anything about.

-- Seven feet of melting snow in Buffalo could cause flooding.

Other than the last, they are all news stories about people behaving badly, from mere temper tantrums by adults who should know better to full blown depraved horror of one person against another. In this way, it becomes news.

This is not to say it isn't news or that these issues should be swept under the carpet, but rather all these things have persistence. They happen over and over. They stay in the spotlight for decades. The perpetrators act like they've done nothing wrong and that you should be ashamed of yourselves for even be bringing this up. It was different times. I went with the flow. You weren't there. You don't know what it was like.

If it bleeds, it leads. Are you scared enough yet. And for that last one, NPR isn't even the first word in fear mongering.

To me, it is so bizarre to think there's another side.

That after an hour of this I can shut it off and take a nap, eat dinner, grade papers and not dwell on it. Insensitive? Overload burn out? White male American middle class privilege? First World perspective? Unwilling to break the obligations of work that pay the bills?

Yeah, a bit of all those, too.

There is a frustration, too, regarding the complexity of all these issues. What really happened? Who did what to whom? How did they get away with it?

How were the waters muddied?

One of the reasons, in my opinion, that we will never get to the bottom of something like the John Kennedy assassination is that there is too much information. Snowed under. A normal investigation involves just a couple of people, pursuing leads and following the evidence. In these stories there is not just one investigator. In some cases, the resulting chaos is manufactured.

We will thoroughly review all the facts. We will never know the truth. We must hold these parts of the justice and investigative system behind closed doors. Why won't you believe me. Why won't you admit it. Why won't this just go away and leave me alone.

We live in the world, not a vacuum. You think it can't happen to you. It doesn't happen in your neighborhood. Why can't we have nice things.

People were hauled off for being Jewish. People are stopped for walking or driving while black. Neither the internet nor your street are as safe as you think. Protests and celebrations can be coopted by people who are there just to bring matches and guns and violence. You are likely afraid of the wrong things.

Yesterday I learned that a student of mine was suffering because their family is on the run from their home because of ISIS. A brother is missing. There is no communication. The government does nothing -- it may even be complicit. The student can't even run home and try to help because of visa restrictions.

How does one deal with that? What do you tell the student?

I did the best I could. Maybe, in some small way, I helped.

But it wasn't a win. There's no winning here.

Just the overflow of people behaving badly. And getting away with it.

And the evening of the first day and the dawn of the next.

Dr. Phil

*** Added to original post -- there were a lot of stories in that hour.

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